Vine available on Android Gingerbread devices but only for watching videos

Vine has announced a new version of its app for Android that runs on Gingerbread devices. The app only allows content consumption but not creation.

Please note that due to device limitations, this version of Vine doesn’t allow for video creation. However, there are tons of great Vine videos to entertain you. We hope you enjoy watching!

You can have your pie, or gingerbread, but you can’t eat it. Would it make you hungry enough to want to upgrade your phone?

Snapchat for text messaging

It’s often said that Snapchat is a popular tool for sexting, but regardless of whether you agree with that or not, there is no doubt that Snapchat is popular. The next question people should ask is “what about text messaging?”

After the Edward Snowden leaks, there has been increased interest in private messaging, but as we’ve seen, it’s not easy to be achieved, so could disappearing messages be the solution?

Depending on the situation, Snapchat messages can be requested by law enforcement agencies. The solution to prevent that would be to ensure that messages can’t be retrieved by the service provider itself, something that Wickr is currently promoting. Another alternative would be to check out Ansa which allows you to delete messages that you’ve sent to others in the past.

Suddenly, Messages Are Disappearing All Over—On Purpose

Wickr, a messaging service that completely erases your communication, uses military-grade encryption called CDH521 to safeguard your messages. The company uses a different key for every message generated on your mobile device, meaning you are protected from both hackers and law enforcement.

Wickr lets you send texts, picture, voice, video and PDF messages that have a self-destructing time limit of up to five days. When the message expires, a so-called shredder built into the application deletes it from the device’s memory. Wickr’s shredder works in the background of the device, rewriting all the data users trash—including emails, photos, and messages not stored in Wickr.

Did the RSA collaborate with the NSA for just $10 million?

There are always two sides to a coin, but at this point, the RSA’s image is definitely going to take a beating. Whether it entered into such an agreement willingly or not doesn’t take away the fact that there are vulnerabilities in some of the current encryption standards.

This is very disturbing indeed.

Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a “back door” in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products.

Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show.

Mailbox app now supports iCloud and Yahoo Mail

The good news is that the popular email app Mailbox now supports iCloud and Yahoo Mail, so the app isn’t restricted to Gmail users any longer. There isn’t any indication that support for traditional IMAP email clients is arriving anytime soon, though.

Mailbox: now for iCloud and Yahoo Mail

Today we’re thrilled to announce we’ve added Mailbox support for Yahoo, iCloud,, and email accounts. This is a big step for us — we get more requests for Yahoo and iCloud support than for any other feature.

The bad news is that support for Yahoo Mail now seems to be broken, apparently because Yahoo Mail servers aren’t permitting connections from Mailbox. There isn’t any indication whether this is due to a violation of any of Yahoo’s terms of service, or something related to the email problems that Yahoo has been facing recently.

Google’s minute-by-minute map of your life

TechCrunch reports on Google’s location history browser.

If you carry any Google-filled gear (like, say, an Android phone or tablet), there was a prompt during the initial setup that asked if Google could transmit your location data back to the mothership. This is that data. You know how Google Now can auto-magically figure out where you work and warn you about traffic? This is the data that makes that possible (or at least a good chunk of it.)

If you are using an Android device and cannot remember if you agreed to send your location data, check this link to see if Google is tracking your location. Unfortunately, Google does not have any of my location history so I will appreciate it if you can share your experience. Do you find it awesome or creepy?

WeChat partners with StickerMe to let users create personalised stickers

WeChat has announced a partnership to allow users to share personalised sticker from Japan-based MotionPortrait’s sticker-making app StickerMe.

StickerMe users are able to custom stickers from a selfie. Through this partnership, WeChat users can share their personalised stickers from the StickerMe app directly to their WeChat conversations and Moments.

As part of the launch of this collaboration, MotionPortrait has made a set of Christmas-themed StickerMe templates available exclusively to WeChat users this December.

StickerMe is available free on App Store and Google Play.

(via WeChat Malaysia)

Google had to start over their Android project after Apple unveiled the iPhone

The Atlantic writes about how Apple’s launch of the iPhone forced Google to scrap their Android project and start over.

For most of Silicon Valley—including most of Google—the iPhone’s unveiling on January 9, 2007 was something to celebrate. Jobs had once again done the impossible. Four years before he’d talked an intransigent music industry into letting him put their catalog on iTunes for ninety-nine cents a song. Now he had convinced a wireless car­rier to let him build a revolutionary smartphone. But for the Google Android team, the iPhone was a kick in the stomach. 

“What we had suddenly looked just so . . . nineties,” DeSalvo said. “It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it.”

Android prior to the iPhone was scrapped when the iPhone was unveiled.

A lot was wrong with the first iPhone too. Rubin and the An­droid team &emdash; along with many others &emdash; did not think users would take to typing on a screen without the tactile feedback of a physi­cal keyboard. That is why the first Android phone &emdash; the T-Mobile G1 from HTC, nearly two years later &emdash; had a slide-out keyboard. But what was also undeniable to the Android team was that they had underestimated Jobs. At the very least, Jobs had come up with a new way of interacting with a device &emdash; with a finger instead of a stylus or dedicated buttons &emdash; and likely a lot more. “We knew that Apple was going to announce a phone. Everyone knew that. We just didn’t think it would be that good,” said Ethan Beard, one of Android’s early business development executives.

Within weeks the Android team had completely reconfigured its objectives. A phone with a touchscreen, code-named Dream, that had been in the early stages of development, became the focus.

The Android team did not believe a touchscreen would work, until they saw the iPhone. The author is mistaken to write about touchscreen on iPhone being something wrong with the iPhone. As John Gruber puts it:

That first sentence is fine — the original iPhone left much room for improvement. But Vogelstein’s supporting example — the on-screen keyboard — is an example of something the original iPhone got right, and which took the rest of the industry, including Andy Rubin and the entire Android team at Google, years to come to terms with and accept. What percentage of smartphones sold today have a hardware keyboard? I’m guessing it’s in the single digits and dropping.

Credit card data of Target’s customers stolen in a major breach

Chicago Tribune reports on a major credit card breach of Target’s customers. Payment card data was stolen starting from the Black Friday weekend.

Investigators believe the data was obtained via software installed on machines that customers use to swipe magnetic strips on their cards when paying for merchandise at Target stores, according to the person who was not authorized to discuss the matter and declined to provide further details.

Krebs on Security, a closely watched security industry blog that broke the news, said the breach involved nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores in the United States, citing sources at two credit card issuers. The report said that “track data” from at least 1 million payment cards was thought to have been stolen before Target uncovered the operation, but that the number could be significantly higher.

It is a major security breach for the attackers to be able to compromise so many point-of-sales terminals across the US.

Update: Target has confirmed the breach.

Microsoft CEO search update by board of directors

Microsoft’s board of directors had decided that it is necessary for them to post on the company’s official blog to give an update on their search for a new CEO.

As the chair of the Board’s search committee, I’m pleased with our progress. The Board has taken the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expect and deserve. After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets. We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right. As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we’ve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014.

Reacting to the uncertainty over the CEO search? Regardless of whether they manage to settle the nerves of investors and consumers, it still does not hide the fact that there was no succession planning in place.

LG Chromebase

I thought the 256 GB on my MacBook Pro is measly. The LG Chromebase beat that with just 16 GB of storage.