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6May/11Off

iPad 2 shortage down to LG Display tip insiders

LG Display is reportedly ramping up 9.7-inch LCD IPS panel production for the iPad 2, after production issues supposedly hamstrung Apple’s ability to get the coveted slate onto shelves. According to DigiTimes‘ sources, LG Display’s shipments will only get back up to original estimates sometime this quarter; analysts have suggested that production rather than demand is the biggest limit on the iPad 2′s sales success.

LG Display only shipped 3.2m of the screens in Q1 2011, outnumbered by Samsung (who shipped 4m); the pair is expected to be joined by CMI as another panel supplier in May, assuming Apple approves its production. The LG panels were apparently plagued with light leakage issues.

However, it’s not the only issue Apple has reportedly had with iPad 2 production; the lamination process for the slimline glass display is also said to have been causing headaches, along with production shortages of the speaker assembly, new to the second-generation model. Apple was recently forced to halt iPad 2 sales in South Korea and Singapore


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6May/11Off

LastPass CEO details data breach: “maybe too alarmist”

LastPass has further detailed the security breach which saw the password management company lose customer information and advise all customers to change their master password, as well as attempting to remedy issues some users had in doing so. Speaking to PCWorld, LastPass CEO Joe Siegrist confirmed that the names and passwords of up to “a couple hundred” users could have been taken, as well as their encrypted passwords; however, he also suggested that the company was “maybe too alarmist ourselves” and that the potential for misuse after the data breach was in fact low.

In addition to the encrypted passwords, the hackers are also believed to have taken the related “salt” for the password hashes. “Salt” is basically randomized information added to the password prior to encryption, making it harder to misuse if that encryption is subsequently broken, though if the hackers have the salting data then they would be able to strip that out.

“You can combine the user’s e-mail, a guess on their master password, and the salt and do various rounds of one-way mathematics against it. When you do all of that, what you’re potentially left with is the ability to see from that data whether a guess on a master password is correct without having to hit our servers directly through the website” Jow Siegrist, CEO, LastPass

LastPass has added an option for those with strong master passwords to opt out of the mandatory change, and has switched those yet to change their password into an “offline” mode to try to reduce load on the system. The rush of people wanting to make a password change had overloaded the servers; more information on the offline mode here.


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6May/11Off

Sony CEO apologizes for PSN breach: Free identity theft protection detailed

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has published a public letter of apology for the PlayStation Network hack crisis, announcing the first aspect of Sony’s promised compensation for US PSN users and Qriocity subscribers. Sony is offering 12 months subscription to Debix’s AllClear ID Plus service, which includes monitoring and surveillance of potential fraudulent activity, priority access to identity theft restitution services, and a $1m identity theft insurance policy per user.

Sony will be notifying all eligible PSN and Qriocity users of the next steps to enrolling in AllClear ID Plus (which looks to also be called AllClear ID Pro on Debix’s site, and normally be a $9.95 monthly subscription) in the next few days, and they’ll have until June 18 to opt into the offer. Debix has already published a Sony customer hotline, however - 1 (800) 345-7669 – though you’ll need the code from the email in order to actually sign up.

According to Sony, the company’s global network and security teams are currently working on “the final stages of internal testing of the new system” in the process of bringing Qriocity and the PSN back online. It is yet to comment on security expert allegations that Sony continued to use outdated systems despite the flaws in those systems being public knowledge.

Letter from Howard Stringer:

Dear Friends,

I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.

Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.

To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We are also moving ahead with plans to help protect our customers from identity theft around the world. A program for U.S. PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers that includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user was launched earlier today and announcements for other regions will be coming soon.

As we have announced, we will be offering a “Welcome Back” package to our customers once our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are up and running. This will include, among other benefits, a month of free PlayStation Plus membership for all PSN customers, as well as an extension of subscriptions for PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited customers to make up for time lost.

As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible.

I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened. I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.

As a result of what we discovered we notified you of the breach. Our investigation is ongoing, and we are upgrading our security so that if attacks like this happen again, our defenses will be even stronger.

In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But now we are facing a very man-made event – a criminal attack on us — and on you — and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible.

In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun. I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for – all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony.

With best regards,

Howard Stringer


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6May/11Off

BlackBerry PlayBook native code hack beats RIM’s SDK to the punch

RIM’s native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook – demonstrated at BlackBerry World 2011 earlier this week – isn’t expected until sometime this summer, but one developer has already figured out a way to bypass the existing Adobe AIR environment and get QNX native code running on the 7-inch tablet. Adam Bell discovered that, with a little tweaking, it’s possible to copy QNX apps coded on the QNX desktop environment, aka the Neutrino SDP (software development platform), over to the PlayBook and have them run as native code.

That’s because the QNX desktop environment already comes with a cross-compiler that allows developers to create native apps for ARM processors, like the TI chip the PlayBook is based on. Software can be written in regular C/C++ and then compiled and copied across to the tablet.

That last step did take a little legwork, since if you merely shuttle the code over to the PlayBook’s “downloads” folder, using SSH into the device as “devuser”, it lacks the necessary permissions to actually run. Instead, Bell found that if you set the binary as executable, and then zip it up, you can move it from the “downloads” folder, unzip it, and run it as a native PlayBook app.

The workaround means that, rather than use AIR to develop apps as RIM is currently insisting on, developers can now create titles with full access to everything RIM’s own software on the PlayBook can use. Whether the company will approve of that remains to be seen, but it’s certainly another benefit of the flexibility of the QNX platform the tablet is based on.

[Thanks Steve!]


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6May/11Off

Android Overload: Australia Receives Moto Xoom and Atrix, Samsung Gives Away Fascinates and More

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Hola, mis amigos! Today, we have an extra spicy Cinco de Mayo edition of Android Overload and it’s muy caliente! With all the stuff going in the world of Android, we at Phandroid want to make sure we leave no man behind when it comes to the news. So in between writing up the stories that made their way to our front page, I also managed to dig up some other interesting links for you to sink your teeth into. My question to you is – how did you end up spending your Cinco de Mayo?

  • Samsung celebrates the May 12th launch of the Fascinate 4G on TELUS by giving them away! [MobileSyrup]
  • TELUS didn’t want to feel left out. Releases the LG Optimus 3G in Canada.
  • Samsung shows off the SENS-240. An Android hybrid navigation/tablet device that syncs with your phone. [Electronista]
  • Australians will soon be able to grab the Motorola Atrix 4G and XOOM for $840 each. [AusDroid]
  • The Vodafone 858 is the carrier’s next cheap Android made by Huawei. [EuroDroid]
  • Android 2.3 for the HTC Desire Z is said to be landing by the end of June.


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6May/11Off

Google Is Looking Into A Joint Venture With Skype

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Google made quite a splash when they finally unveiled their long awaited Google Talk video calling feature on the latest version of Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. Well, it looks like they may be looking to expand a little more on that idea with Google apparently in talks for entering into a joint venture with Skype.

If Google is planning on doing anything with the VoIP company they better act fast seeing how there are reports that Facebook may be looking into an all out purchase of Skype in the near future. You can only imagine what Skype integration with Facebook would mean for the company social media giant. A Skype deal would likely be valued at somewhere around $3 – $4 billion dollars.

I just hope Google doesn’t let this one slip through their fingers like they did with TAT mobile UI design company a few months back. RIM snatched them out from under Google when they bought them up in December of last year.

[Via Reuters]


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6May/11Off

Making Your Own Android App Has Never Been Easier Thanks To Appsbar

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Ever wanted to build your very own Android (or iOS) app to show off to your friends and family just how tech savvy you are? Maybe you have a business or church and were wondering just how much know how it would take to make your own app. Well, today I came across this site called Appsbar.

Appsbar is a web service that allows you to build a multifunctional app for either Android or iOS. I’ve actually come across a few other sites that offer the similar services but none that offer as many features – and none that do it for FREE.

How in depth you want to get with your app is up to you. It supports all kinds of useful features like an event notifier for delivering real-time or scheduled notifications to users, support for RSS feeds, photos and videos. I know it may sound a little intimidating if you’re not too tech savvy (even I still consider myself a noob when it comes to “computer things”). Luckily enough Appsbar provided a video showing off just how easy it is to make an app and get that sucker published into the Android Market (or AppStore) in no time. Oh yeah, you may want to turn your speakers down before watching.

I’m going to tinker around with this as soon as I get off work and I already have a few good ideas for making a Mother’s Day app and even something fun for my church. If you guys get around to trying it out, please leave your feedback below. I would love to hear your experiences.

[Via IntoMobile]


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6May/11Off

Massive Oversupply of Android Tablets May Result In Excess Inventory

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What’s the difference between the onslaught of Android handsets hitting the market and the Android tablet craze we’ve been seeing recently? Android tablets aren’t selling.

Digitimes is reporting that because of the massive launch of Android tablets this year and 10 more companies getting ready to launch their own versions of these tablets, we could see an excess inventory of these devices in the second half of 2011. Couple in the fact that hardly any of these tablets seem to actually be leaving stores with customers (see Motorola Xoom sales), we could be looking at some nice price drops as stores try to move units.

So why haven’t people been adopting Android tablets like they have their smartphone cousins? I think this has to do with a lot of things, such as horrible marketing, high prices, and most definitely from the hugely successful iPad 2. I wouldn’t expect any one Android tablet to make any sort of dent in the iPad’s market share anytime soon.

As a laptop toting, smarphone junkie, I still haven’t been able to rationalize a tablet purchase for myself. Fearing it would only gather dust in my already crowded gadget life. Oddly enough, in my talks with some of the biggest proponents (fanboys?) of Android tablets, they themselves have yet to purchase one. Go figure.

So what do you guys think? Already picked up and loving your Android tablet? Maybe you’re still waiting for the next big thing? A quad-core tablet maybe? Or perhaps you are patiently waiting for prices to drop before diving into some Honeycomb tablet goodness?

[Via Digitimes]


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