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How to update to Android Lollipop manually using OTA downloads

Steve Banfield:

I’ve already gotten Lollipop on my Moto X 2nd gen OTA and it’s awesome. While I wait for the Nexus 7 to get an official update it might be work trying to do it manually.

Originally posted on 9to5Google:

Lollipop Forest

Last week Google announced that Lollipop will come to most Nexus devices in the coming weeks. If you like to get the latest from Google, you know that “coming weeks” could be a pretty long wait.  Cut the line and install the over-the-air (OTA) update by following our quick guide.

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What are the best designed and managed developer communities, and what tools were used to build them?

What are the best designed and managed developer communities, and what tools were used to build them?

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Microsoft’s CEO Apologizes Again For Comments On Women, Promises New Diversity Efforts

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Microsoft is working to repair its public image and change course by addressing the damage that CEO Satya Nadella caused last week by saying that women should, perhaps, not ask for raises. His comments immediately became an international high water mark for tone-deafness — and being flat wrong — and he continues to apologize and promise change.

The executive quickly followed his initial comments with a tweet, and later a formal retraction. Today Nadella went further in an internal memo that included a new apology and a set of notes explaining what he intends to implement at Microsoft regarding diversity.

The full memo, which GeekWire published (TechCrunch confirmed with Microsoft that the text is real), is worth reading. The key excerpts follow:

There are three areas in which we can and will make progress — starting immediately.

First, we need to continue to focus on equal pay for equal work and equal…

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How HBO, CBS Seek Upper Hand in Pay-TV Deals with OTT Moves

Originally posted on Variety:

HBO and CBS shook up the TV biz this week with announcements that they will intro over-the-top streaming services that don’t require a pay-television subscription.

The new services could accelerate the number of consumers cutting the cord, which has been a small but growing worry for pay-TV providers for the past several years. But the strategies signal that the HBO and CBS are playing offense as well as defense — aimed at extracting better terms from current distribution partners, with the threat that they can bypass the middlemen.

HBO on Wednesday divulged plans to launch a standalone OTT service in 2015, and CBS a day later unveiled a direct-to-consumer subscription VOD offering. Both programmers may truly believe, as they claimed, that there’s an untapped market of “cord-nevers”: the approximately 10 million U.S. broadband households that don’t subscribe to cable or satellite TV.

But with CBS’s All Access $5.99-per-month service (which excludes NFL coverage), the Eye is really attempting to establish a “pricing…

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Why nerd culture must die

Steve Banfield:

so say we all.

Originally posted on Pete Warden's blog:


Photo by Attila Acs

My first girlfriend was someone I met through a MUD, and I had to fly 7,000 miles to see her in person. I read a paper version of the Jargon File at 15 and it became my bible. Just reading its descriptions of the internet I knew it was world-changing, even before the web, and as soon as I could I snuck into the local university computer labs with a borrowed account to experience the wonder of Usenet, FTP, and Gopher. I chose my college because Turing had once taught there, and the designer of the ARM chip would be one of my lecturers. My first job out of college was helping port the original Diablo to the first Playstation, and I spent five years writing games. I’ve dived deep into GPU programming. I’ve worked for almost two decades at both big tech companies and startups. I’ve…

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This is what Windows 95 looks like running on Android Wear

Steve Banfield:

Oh my eyes, my eyes! It burns!
Actually kind of funny to see someone install Win95 on a watch 20 years later. Some people just have too much time on their hands.

Originally posted on BGR:

Any time a new device hits the market, it’s always fascinating to see how tech-savvy developers, designers and hobbyists will tinker with it to push it to its limits. Web developer Corbin Davenport has received some attention over the last week for getting both Minecraft Pocket Edition and the original PC FPS Doom to run on Android Wear, but those were just warm-ups for the most impressive feat of all — running Windows 95 on a Samsung Gear Live.

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BadUSB Means We’re All Screwed

Steve Banfield:

I think we’ve all suspected that malicious peripherals could be a threat but this really makes it clear how much of a threat. As always don’t install anything, software or hardware, unless you are sure you can trust the source.

Originally posted on Hackaday:


Does anyone else get the feeling that the frequency of rather horrible vulnerabilities coming to light is accelerating? Off the top of our head, there’s Heartbleed, Shellshock, and now this one. The BadUSB exploit attack stems from the “invisible” microcontroller in most USB devices.

We first heard about it when we were attending DEFCON in August. The exploit had been announced the same week at Backhat but there wasn’t much information out yet. Now the talk has been posted and there’s a well-explained overview article at Big Mess o’ Wires.

Here’s how this one goes: all USB devices rely on a microcontroller to handle the peripheral-side of USB communications. The computer doesn’t care which microcontroller, nor does it have a way of knowing even if it wanted to. The uC is “invisible” in this situation, it’s the interface and data flowing through it that the computer cares about. BadUSB…

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Hong Kong Democracy Protesters Are Being Targeted by Malicious Spyware

Steve Banfield:

Every protest, political and labor movement around the world (including the US) should expect to be targeted by opposition technology designed to infiltrate or disrupt their activities. In the best case for their attackers it provides information to be used against the movements and in the worst case it slows the protests down.

Originally posted on TIME:

A computer virus that spies on Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system is targeting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, according to tech experts.

Known as Xsser, the malicious software is capable of harvesting data including text messages, photos, data logs and passwords from mobile devices, Lacoon Mobile Security said Tuesday.

The spyware is hosted on the same Command and Control domain as an existing fake program for the Android operating system that was disguised as a protest-organizing app and distributed around Hong Kong last week.

“Cross-platform attacks that target both iOS and Android devices are rare, and indicate that this may be conducted by a very large organization or nation state,” said Lacoon in a statement.

Tens of thousands of people have paralyzed key areas of the city over the past few days in support of greater electoral freedom, much to the chagrin of the central government in Beijing.

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Product Hunt’s Success Begs the Question: What Is Tech News Even For?

Steve Banfield:

Been wondering this about sites like Pando Daily since they launched. Too many “publications” are just startups of their own with “reporters” being as much PR flacks for their company as they are digging into and reporting accurate news about the industry. Walt and Kara are probably the best current industry reporters (I used to live in fear of doing press tours to visit Mossberg when I ran the RealPlayer group). Who is going to carry us to the next level of journalism in technology?

Originally posted on Betabeat:

The new trend in news startups doesn't involve anyone actually reporting the news. (Photo via //sugar)

The latest trend in news startups doesn’t involve anyone actually reporting the news. (Photo via //sugar)

Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.

The deal: Product Hunt, a site that where users can upvote new products every day, raised $6 million from Andreessen Horowitz at a $22 million valuation.

For as long as there’s been an Internet, self-proclaimed new media evangelists and armchair philosophers have been saying that online media was going to kill off the need for us “real” journalists. But even as dwindling ad revenue wreaks havoc on the news biz, here we are, still occasionally pulling in a salary — though every once in a while, some new service shows up to keep us journos in check.

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Why Sony must wish the smartphone was never invented

Steve Banfield:

There are lots of things that Sony wish hadn’t been invented (including many Sony creations like Blu-ray), the smartphone is just the most recent addition to that list.

Originally posted on Quartz:

Sony, the Japanese consumer electronics colossus, had some bad news for its shareholders last night.

The company that once made Walkmans and still makes Playstations and televisions (and owns major film studios and record labels) said it expects its annual loss to be nearly five times as much as previously anticipated. It is also suspending its dividend for the first time since 1958.

The reason: a ¥180 billion ($1.6 billion) write-down of its mobile communications segment, which accounted for about 20% of the company’s total business last year, according to FactSet.

In sum, Sony now expects to earn less from that business than it had previously forecast. Why? It’s changing its strategy in mobiles to concentrate on premium products and reduce the number of mid-range models it produces. Over the long term, it thinks this will deliver more stable profits. The company now expects to lose about ¥230 billion this fiscal year (which ends next March), which would be its sixth loss in seven years.

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