Blackberry has officially announced the launch of their 100% Android device – the Blackberry Priv.
This is a device that runs an actual Android OS, and not just an emulator or sandbox or whatever – it’s as much an Android device as LG, Samsung, Nexus, etc … Actually, if what I am reading turns out to be correct, it will be better than those I mentioned because this is supposed to be a completely secure, and private device.
Today,BlackBerry is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry’s efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks. While the new device will provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which enables industry-leading security and productivity benefits. Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.
As you can see from the picture, this is a slider device. If you are familiar with the Blackberry Torch from previous years – think of that, but this will be an Android device.
Since there is no official launch yet we are depending on sightings, hands-on reviews and rumors for the following specs. The Priv will launch with a QHD display, 3 GB of RAM, 18 MP main camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, 1.8 Hexacore Snapdragon 808 processor, 3,000 mAh non-removable battery, and display will be curved edge, 5.4 inches. Also, the security and privacy of this device is reported to follow Blackberry’s standards of security. I have not read anything reliable on price – I’m reading everything from $500 USD to $1000 USD, so we will wait and see what that is when the Priv releases.
Personally, I have a huge question mark over my head on this. I’m very curious to see this device, and see if it acts like my current Blackberry Z30, or if it behaves similar to the Android devices I’ve used and hated in the past. I’m also curious to see how they have locked down security on this when other manufacturers have totally failed at this. I am confident it will be secure. Blackberry is putting their name on this, and right now that is the one thing they have in their favour. Blackberry was building secure devices when Samsung was making toasters and microwave ovens – I have no doubt they are on point … however, I’m still curious to see it 🙂
I want to see if they have kept the hub and peek intact with this device. If you’ve never used a Blackberry 10 device you have never experienced the most efficient way to use a smartphone – no argument. With all the phones I’ve used over the years the Blackberry Hub was the one innovation that actually blew me away. Currently, I can move in and out of apps, tweeting, instagramming, lol-ing, facebooking, chatting in the amount of time it takes a typical Android user to open or switch between a few apps. I never want to use a device again that doesn’t offer this efficiency.
I guess we will see what happens very soon. It’s possible I could be on the Android wagon again in the new year? I’m strangely, mixed-feeling, excited in a weird kind of way …
Your phone rings, and you go through the checklist …
is the caller unknown, unknown? Nope …
is the caller in my contacts? Possibly, or no …
is the caller at least in my part of the world? Looks like a local number, could be legit …
You answer …
“You have won whatever, whatever from insert random company here …”,
‘dammit, these jerks again!’
First of all, write down or remember as many details as you can, and report this. If you’re in Canada you can submit this report to Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501. If you’re in a different part of the world you can easily search for federal anti-fraud agencies. Most important – DO NOT give them any type of personal information.
Whether you scream, yell, curse, argue, try to reason, or ignore and hang up; do not be tempted to block the phone number. Blocking the phone number will keep that particular number from calling you again, but this could be a bad thing. Scammers operate with a list of numbers known to a geographical area, and they use computers to spoof the number you see on call display. What this means is, it appears somebody local is calling you, and they have no idea their number is being used. When you block that number it means that somebody in your local area cannot contact you. This could be a school calling about your child, the pizza place calling you back to see if you ordered that salami and double-cheese, your dentist calling to confirm an appointment, somebody you gave your number to in a club last Friday; I think you get the idea. Just keep your cool, and report it.
Another thing people may be tempted to do is call the number and see why they called, or call the number back and start a verbal assault. They have no idea their number showed up on your phone, so yelling at a complete stranger will just make you appear to have rage issues, or it could get you reported! If you feel compelled to contact a missed call, send them a text and ask if they called you – don’t phone screaming and yelling. Calling other missed calls that don’t appear to be in your area could be dangerous as well – you could be calling a subscription service that charges your phone bill for every minute you are on the phone. This will appear as a valid charge to your phone carrier – you knowingly made the call, it wasn’t a mistake, so don’t expect a refund on your phone bill.
If you feel the urge to call somebody, dial 1-888-495-8501 and report it 🙂
If you get a call saying you’re a winner – don’t pay any money to collect whatever you’ve won.
Never wire money to anyone with whom you are not familiar.
Never provide anyone with personal information such as bank names, bank accounts, or pin numbers.
Be aware that there are many 3-digit area codes that connect callers to international telephone numbers: Bangladesh 880, Cambodia 855, Hong Kong 852, Laos 856, Macau 853, North Korea 850, Pitcairn Islands 870, Taiwan 886, Jamaica 876
The following procedures require a minimum of Blackberry OS v10.2.1.xxx
Using Android apps on your Blackberry is not a band-aid approach to using apps. It’s no different than using an Android app on your Samsung phone that uses Samsung’s version of the Android OS. This is a legitimate means to another app store aside from the default Blackberry collection. Things may not look as slick, or work as flawlessly as a native Blackberry app, but maybe someday Android will catch up 🙂
There is more than one way to install Android APK files, and we will cover them in detail.
Before we get into installing Android apps we must enable our Blackberry to allow us to install outside of Blackberry World. Navigate to Settings > App Manager > Installing Apps. Once there you will have to enable the option to Allow Apps from other Sources to be Installed. It is probably a good idea to also enable Inspect Apps Before Installing.
If this option is not enabled you will only be able to download and install apps from Blackberry World. In the event that you are unable to install an APK file, I would suggest checking here first to make sure this is switched to “On”. With this enabled we will now look at the different methods for finding and installing Android applications.
Direct Download Method
If you have APK files in your download folder, or if you have a repository of apps you want to install from, you can install them directly. Prior to the methods detailed below I acquired most of my Android apps from http://apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/
click to enlarge
On this page you simply follow these steps:
go to the Play Store on a new page and search for the app you want, copy the URL
paste URL in the box
Generate Download Link
Download the APK file to your Blackberry or computer
Now simply place this APK file on your phone, go the file manager and tap it to install. That’s it.
This method is effective, although it can be time consuming. There will be occasions when the website is under a heavy load and you may have to wait an undetermined amount of time before you can download.
If you find an APK file on the Internet and download it, this would also be the method used to install the app you’ve just acquired. I really don’t recommend hunting down and installing random apps off the Internet, but it’s your phone – your choice.
Amazon App Store
Since Blackberry OS 10.3.1 the Amazon app store is included by default as part of the Blackberry ecosystem.
If you are not running OS 10.3.1 or newer, or if you’ve accidentally deleted the Amazon app store, you can install it on your device easily. On your Blackberry device, navigate to http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/get/android to install the Appstore.
You will be asked for permissions while downloading, and it’s safe to accept them. Once downloaded you will see the Install button … one press and you’re finished. You can now browse the Appstore to install Android apps. This method is pretty good for installing apps, however you may find at times that not all apps are available, or Amazon has branded them. This is probably the fastest way to start installing apps though, and most of the major apps are unbranded, and freely available.
SNAP for Blackberry
Snap is an excellent manager for Google Play. Although this method may be the most time consuming to set up and get running, it is the best procedure because the apps are pulled directly from Google Play. This is my routine of choice for installing Android apps. Snap also has intelligence enough to know when apps need to be updated, and know whether or not you have purchased apps from Google.
To use Snap you will have to sideload the BAR file to your Blackberry. If you are comfortable with sideloading to your Blackberry you can skip to the next section. If you need instructions on how to Sideload, please see this article (opens in new window/tab), and we’ll see you back here in a few minutes.
Now that you’re an expert on sideloading apps to your Blackberry you can download Snap at http://redlightoflove.com/snap/ and Sideload it. After you sign in with your Google account everything should look very familiar.
The advantage to using Snap is that files are pulled directly from the Google Store, so there is no worry of contamination, branding, or any of the other problems associated with obtaining software elsewhere on the Internet.
There are a few script files floating around the Internet that will install Snap for you by running them, and other methods of installing Google Play on your Blackberry. I personally haven’t tested these, so I don’t feel comfortable commenting on them. From sources I’ve read there has been great success with these methods as well. However, with the steps outlined above and the methods provided, you should be installing Android apps in no time.
It happens to the best of us, or those of us that don’t use a single password for everything. There are many sites we use now and then, and we probably click on the forgot link more than the password box. Writing down passwords to remember them is not recommended, nor is keeping a list on your phone or tablet – lose the list, and you’re back to step one.
Password managers can be the answer, but finding a good one can often be the problem. After trying several different password managers I finally decided to use Lastpass. To use Lastpass to its full potential there is a fee for the premium version, but at $1/month it is well worth it.
Lastpass is available for many browsers, and on many platforms. Currently there is a solution for:
Download and setup with LastPass in minutes. Once you’ve created your account, LastPass prompts you to save new sites as you browse – so you’ll never lose another password.
After saving a website’s username and password, LastPass will autofill the login when you return to that site. No thought, no typing, no work required – LastPass does it for you.
Centralize Your Data
See all your accounts and passwords in one easy-to-use “vault”, where you can edit, delete, and organize your stored data. LastPass syncs automatically, so you’re up-to-date, wherever you are.
Streamline Online Shopping
Set up a Profile for each credit card, family member, billing and shipping address. When you’re registering for an account, or ready to complete a payment, select the Profile you want, and complete the form in a single click.
Take it On The Road
Need to check that bank statement before you board your flight? Upgrade to LastPass Premium for unlimited use of our mobile apps for complete peace of mind, wherever you are.
Record Your Most Important Information
Create secure notes for credit cards, insurance cards, memberships, WiFi logins, passports, driver’s licenses, and more. Store the information you need to keep safe and private.
Share Accounts – The Right Way
Send logins for shared accounts to friends and family who are fellow LastPass users. Keep passwords “hidden”, and delete when needed.
Generate Long, Strong Passwords
The LastPass password generator appears when you’re creating an account or updating an existing one, so you have unique passwords that follow best security practices.
Add Another Layer of Security
Recommended by industry experts, multifactor authentication adds a second login step when signing in to your LastPass account, so that your account is even more safe. Select one of the many multifactor authentication options we support to better protect your personal information.
Be the First to Know
Make positive improvements as you go. Get security alerts emailed to you directly, so you can be proactive about replacing passwords when other sites and services may have been hacked.
If you’re ready to put your password issues behind you, head to http://lastpass.com and get started.
Ransomware is a type of infection your computer can pick up that basically locks you out of your computer until you pay a ransom to release it. Although Coinvault is a few months old, it is re-surfacing on computers. Detecting this infection is pretty straightforward – you’ll see nothing but a screen similar to this:
Kaspersky Labs has a solution if you happen to run across Coinvault.
Step 1 – get the Bitcoin wallet address. This is displayed in the box at the lower-right of the screen. It will be something similar to 1Kav9PXogqIYApmZWqt59bUJitVy96 (this is a random example). It is very important to save this wallet address!
Step 2 – get the encrypted file list by clicking the button on the top left corner of the Coinvault box. Save the output to a file.
Step 3 – remove CoinVault. Go to https://kas.pr/kismd and download the trial version of Kaspersky Internet Security. Install it and remove Coinvault from your computer.
Step 4 – navigate to https://noransom.kaspersky.com. You can submit the Bitcoin wallet address from Step 1. If your Bitcoin wallet address is known, the IV and Key will appear on the screen. Please note that multiple keys and IVs may appear. If this is the case, please save all the keys and IVs to your computer, you will need them later.
Step 5 – download the decryption tool from https://noransom.kaspersky.com/ and run it on your computer. If you get an error message, as shown below, go to step 6. If not you can go to step 7.
Step 7 – decrypt your files. Start the tool and you will see a screen as shown below.
When running the tool for the first time , we strongly advise the following:
click on “select file” in the Single File Decryption box and select the file you want to decrypt
enter the IV from the webpage into the IV box
enter the key from the webpage into the key box
click on “start”
Verify whether the newly created file is properly decrypted. If this is the case, you can select “Overwrite encrypted file with decrypted contents”, select the file list from step 2, and click on “start” again.
If you received multiple IVs and keys when you entered your Bitcoin wallet address, please be very careful. At the moment we are not 100% sure where the multiple IVs and keys for one Bitcoin wallet come from. Therefore we suggest leaving the “Overwrite encrypted file with decrypted contents” unticked, and trying to decrypt one file first (you can get this file from the list obtained in step 2). If the new file is not properly decrypted, try with another key IV pair until the file is successfully decrypted. This should be done for all the files.
According to Business Insider we will be seeing a new messaging app soon. Other reports I’ve read on Twitter and elsewhere say that Khloe Kardashian is writing an app,
Can’t wait to share the app that Ive been working on for the past couple months… stay tuned
In fact the technology is being spearheaded by Cornell graduate Lindsey Cummins. Khloe is simply the public face of the project. According to Cummins,
The inspiration behind Regroupd was my frustration with making decisions with large groups of friends via messaging. My friends are really talkative people, so there’s a lot of clutter and side conversations going on, and needing to scroll through a million messages just get answers was nearly impossible. So I just wanted to create a single place where you could get all that detailed information without needing to open up a bunch of different apps.
We will see how it levels out once the ripples clear, however I can see the initial launch being downloaded by thousands of girls from ages 14-22, and probably just as many creepy 30-50 year old guys pretending to be girls!
Personally, I take my mobile stability and security very seriously, so I’m pretty sure Regroupd will never see my memory card 🙂
Apple has released iOS 8.3 which includes many fixes, vulnerability patches, and performance updates. So far I haven’t heard about any issues with iOS 8.3, but in order to keep users up to date I will update here if and when flaws start rolling out.
After reading reviews on Apple’s newest geek toy I have one burning question in my mind – Why?
Everything I have read so far has had these things to say:
not many features
confusing user interface
requires physical use of your phone to do many things (why the watch then?)
very expensive for a wearable, but looks good
And these points repeat over and over as I’m reading more articles and reviews.
NY Times writes – expensive ($350-$17,000), looks smart, difficult user interface, all the limitations and flaws you’d expect of brand-new technology. [source]
This isn’t brand new technology! Wearables have been around for a while now. After that latest cureses on Apple devices I’d expect this to work flawless – zero limitations and flaws! Further down I’m reading things like: Other problems: Third-party apps are mostly useless right now. So basically I’m spending a bunch of money on a calendar reminder and something that tells me if I have a message or a phone call. That review clearly points out to me that a fool and their money are soon parted.
Huffington Post comes to the conclusion that the Apple watch does lots, but not really needed.[source]
This is the conclusion I’m coming to as well after a morning of reading.
CNet says that shortfalls make it feel more like a fashionable toy than a necessary tool.[source]
So at least I’m not alone! And I was trying very hard to fight the urge to think expensive toy. After all the reading I’ve done this morning I was expecting to give this device at least a shoulder-shrug and think “ok, maybe?”, but I can’t even muster that. As a side note I want to point out that I didn’t select articles with a negative overtone to comment on – every article I read had this general feel to it. With release expected the same week iOS 8 is failing (again), I’d expect much more from a company the calibre of Apple.
In my opinion I am seeing a company that is saying nothing more than Shut up and give us your money!!! And it’s sad to think that many people will.
A few articles ago I mentioned the bend testing on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The Edge was breaking under extreme testing by SquareTrade. Samsung has replied back with their own video:
Basically this video shows the normal operating force on a device; the force Samsung uses for their device testing.
Before anybody makes any clouded decision on this phone you should note a few things. The Samsung video demonstrates pressures under (what they call) normal to extreme conditions. The SquareTrade testing is looking for a failure point – they are a warranty company, and they need to know the breaking point of a device for their own interests.
Even though some devices are more fragile than others, every device on the market is going to break at one point or another!