Turn your phone into a virtual reality portal [Deals]

Virtual reality is finally here…if you can afford it. Picking up one of those sleek new headsets is going to set you back hundreds of dollars, but why drop so much coin when you’ve already got most of what you need for immersive VR in your pocket? DSCVR easily turns your mobile device into a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Turn your phone into a virtual reality portal [Deals]

New Bill Introduced in U.S. Congress to Block State-Level Efforts to Weaken Smartphone Encryption

A new bill introduced in U.S. Congress today by representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX) would attempt to block state-level efforts to ban sales of strongly encrypted smartphones, reports Ars Technica.

The federal bill will need to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and be signed by the president, in order to become law. If passed quick enough, the bipartisan legislation would set precedent over state-level bills.

California and New York assemblymen have introduced new bills over the past year that would require smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Google to create devices that can be decrypted or unlocked, or be subject to fines.

The virtually identical bills would require any smartphone manufactured after January 1, 2017 and sold in New York or California to „be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.“ Apple and others would face a $2,500 fine per phone in violation of the proposed law.

Apple is strongly against government efforts to weaken smartphone encryption. The company ceased storing encryption keys for devices on iOS 8, making it impossible for the iPhone maker to unlock content on passcode-protected devices under police request. Both iOS and Android share these default encryption settings.

In September, FBI Director James Comey expressed concerns that Apple and Google are „marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.“ Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook believes providing the U.S. government with back door access means the „back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.“

Read the full text of the „ENCRYPT Act of 2016“ for more details about the new house bill.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Encryption
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New Bill Introduced in U.S. Congress to Block State-Level Efforts to Weaken Smartphone Encryption

Square Enix sneaks Final Fantasy IX on to mobile

Final Fantasy VII may be a touchstone for thousands of gamers, but Final Fantasy IX is no slouch either, and it’s coming to your mobile phone today for 20 percent off. Originally developed at the same time as it’s predecessor (Final Fantasy VIII), FFIX took a more traditional approach to the role-playing game format, with […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Square Enix sneaks Final Fantasy IX on to mobile

Apple Music for Android now allows saving songs to SD card

Apple today updated the official Apple Music app for Android to add support for saving their offline music to an SD card. Unlike iOS devices, majority of Android devices still come with a microSD card slot that makes it possible to expand the storage of the handset for cheap. While external storage can be slower […]

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Apple Music for Android now allows saving songs to SD card

Apple Music for Android Now Supports Saving Songs to SD Card

Apple today updated its Apple Music app for Android users, adding a new feature that allows them to save downloaded songs to an SD card on compatible smartphones. „You can now keep more music offline,“ reads the update note.

Several Android-based phones allow users to upgrade their storage using SD and microSD cards. As The Verge points out, with the ability to save downloaded content, Android users can potentially have access to more music than iOS users who are limited to a maximum of 128GB of storage on iPhones and iPads.

Today’s Android update also adds a full schedule for Beats 1 shows and it includes My Music options for browsing by Composers and Compilations, features previously available to iOS users.

Apple Music for Android first launched in November, marking Apple’s first major app for Android users. The Android-based app, available in all the countries where Apple Music for iOS is available, allows Android users to subscribe to the Apple Music service.

The Android Apple Music app, which remains in beta, can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. It comes with a free three-month Apple Music trial.

Tags: Android, Apple Music
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Apple Music for Android Now Supports Saving Songs to SD Card

Apple Now Selling Square’s New NFC Reader for Apple Pay and Contactless Payments

Square has announced that its new NFC reader that enables small businesses to accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other contactless payments can now be purchased from Apple online or in U.S. stores for $49.

The reader is compatible with NFC-equipped smartphones, including the iPhone 6 or newer, and contactless EMV chip debit and credit cards based on technologies like American Express ExpressPay, MasterCard PayPass, and Visa payWave.

The small square-shaped reader functions like other NFC-enabled payment terminals, allowing users to wave an iPhone, paired Apple Watch, or contactless EMV chip card near the reader for a few seconds to complete a purchase.

The NFC reader, which connects wirelessly with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, also works with EMV chip cards that are inserted for Chip-and-Signature payments. Square includes a magstripe reader in the box for accepting traditional swipe payments as well.

Apple Pay is accepted at more than 1 million locations in the U.S., but its early rollout has mostly been limited to larger franchises. Square’s new NFC reader, and similar products, will help expand Apple Pay to smaller businesses across the country.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Apple Now Selling Square’s New NFC Reader for Apple Pay and Contactless Payments

Samsung Galaxy S7 could try to steal the 4-inch iPhone’s thunder with a March 11th release

We’ve heard a lot about the Samsung Galaxy S7 in the past few months. We know it will look like the Galaxy S6, but have big spec bumps , a better camera and battery. It’ll probably rip-off some of the new iPhone’s best features, and arrive in March. But when in March? We now have […]

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Samsung Galaxy S7 could try to steal the 4-inch iPhone’s thunder with a March 11th release