With a completely new UI update landing for the web client today, we can see that Google is really trying to grab and keep users for their social networking service. Now, UI updates come to services all the time, with re-focus for their apps and so forth. However, Google isn’t necessarily trying to point out something new with this update, just show you what’s been there the whole time. No big new features, no name-changes, just the same Google+ with a different look.
There is no doubt that they are trying put a bigger focus on Google Hangouts, one of the best features Google+ has to offer, and really, one of only things I use it regularly for. The entire right side of the page has been taken up by a chat bar, showing all users that are currently online with an option at the top to “start a Hangout.” This really draws your attention when first getting to the site, much like what Facebook has done with their side-bar.
The profiles have also been redone, and it really just looks like an inverted version of Facebook’s Timeline. Posts are lined up from the bottom in order you posted them like usual on G+, but much of the design layout is very reminiscent of what Facebook has just done with their profiles. They’ve even added the option to add a cover photo, with your profile picture laid neatly on top. They did, at least, put all of this on the right side of the page as opposed to Facebook having it on the left, but it is still very similar.
More after the break
Back when Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus were announced, Google promised us that phones would be receiving updates much faster because of a “new and improved” deal with carriers and OEM’s. We didn’t believe them. They then preceded to tell us they had gotten agreements from all of the major partners including Motorola, Samsung, Sony, LG, and HTC to push these updates to as many devices as possible, even devices that are a year old. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Well, today Samsung announced that they would be pushing ICS to the Galaxy S II, meaning on Sammy’s part, ICS is now skinned and relatively free of any major bugs that would cripple devices, readying the software to be pushed out. That’s on Samsung’s end, though. The biggest issue in the US has never been OEM’s, it’s our beloved carriers. Owners of the original, global GSII will be receiving ICS on March 10 via Kies 2.o (which is a mess in itself, especially on Mac), but US users will be skimped out on. Again. And now we all know that Samsung is not to blame. It’s the carriers again. So, Android users in the rest of the world, enjoy your fresh Ice Cream Sandwich on your GSII.
Dear US buyers,
If you want a software update, buy a new device from us. Note that this will also rope you in to another 2-year contract in which you will give us thousands of dollars to use our voice and data.
With Google finally having launched all three of its additional components to the Android Market, it’s understandable that they wanted a streamlined interface for users to understand what they were purchasing and that they were purchasing it from the same vendor. Google Books, Google Videos, and Google Music had all been slightly separate until now. They were still obviously tied together through Android, but it wasn’t fully understood to the average consumer that Google is offering all of the media needed to more than just their Android phone. PC’s, tablets, and of course, any phones running Android all have access to what is now called Google Play, and I am happy to see Google doing something about that.
What I am not happy about however, is the name and idea of Google “Play”. It’s not just that I don’t particularly like the name “Play”, no, it’s deeper than that from a consumer standpoint. If Google is trying to brand Android into people’s minds with “Android Market” just the way Apple has done with “Now Available in the App Store”, then they took the right step. I’m just not 100% sure they took a step in quite the right direction.
More after the break
It’s now official: Sprint will be the second US carrier to officially carry Google’s flagship device, the Galaxy Nexus. Alongside their announcement of 4G LTE, Sprint indirectly announced that the Galaxy Nexus would, in fact, be coming to kick things off. By this time, we’re already familiar with the Galaxy Nexus and all of its Ice Cream Sandwich glory, and we’re sure this model will be extremely similar to the Verizon 4G LTE model.
Sprint isn’t just stopping there, though. Remember the controversy over whether the Verizon Galaxy Nexus was really a Nexus because Verizon decided to halt Google Wallet? Yeah, we do too. That reason alone caused delays for the Verizon Nexus, and Sprint is slapping them in the face with the screen of their Galaxy Nexus showing–can you guess?–Google Wallet. So there you have it, Sprint is finally getting some 4G LTE Ice Cream Sandwich love, and the Galaxy Nexus is “coming soon” along with the LG Viper.
Samsung has officially done what many have been afraid of hearing, and that’s refusing to update older devices because they just have to include TouchWiz. The Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S are two devices that put Samsung on the map as a high end Android device manufacturer. There have been problems with updating them to newer software versions in the past, but it sure didn’t stop the devices from flying off shelves worldwide. Now many Android users holding devices with extremely similar hardware specifications to the device that launched Android 4.0 (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) have to accept the fact that their devices will not officially receive the update.
This may be for other minor reasons, but the main factor that is causing Samsung to hold of on Ice Cream Sandwich-ing these older devices is one thing: TouchWiz. Samsung’s official Korean blog states that these devices do not have enough memory to hold ICS with the added TouchWiz features, and therefore delivers a less than desirable Android experience. This is most disappointing because a lot of Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S users don’t want TouchWiz on their devices in the first place. Although I do commend Samsung for not delivering a half-baked software update, something inside me is just screaming the obvious thought: just push ICS to the devices without TouchWiz. But we all know this won’t happen, and it’s very sad to see manufacturers still aren’t content with Google’s UI, no matter how much emphasis they put into updating it in the latest iteration of Android. Either way, this leaves Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S users with only the option to root their devices and flash ICS themselves. Hopefully OEM’s will soon start to realize users want Android the way it was designed, without a laggy or battery eating customization slapped on top.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) San Francisco’s public trains had cell service disrupted in four of its stations on Thursday night. Local officials chose to shut down mobile networks in these stations in an effort to stymie communications that might lead to rioting. Reports are coming in from all around that in response to rumors that protesters were using cell phones to communicate. In any location suspected of being a meeting place BART officials cut power to the NODES eliminating cellular or data coverage in the stations.
We were front and center for the talk from Riley Hassell at Blackhat in Las Vegas…however, he was nowhere to be seen. Reuters is reporting,
he (Hassell) and colleague Shane Macaulay decided not to lay out their research at the gathering for fear criminals would use it attack Android phones
While that is understandable he gives even more detail as to why he chose not to disclose his findings
For those who don’t know AnonPlus was created in response to Google+ requiring real names for those who want a social network where anonymous post and nicknames could be used. However, instead of the normal social network, users where created by this message when going to the site. Credit for this hack is being claim by the SyRian Cyb3r Army. We have deleted the picture due to how graphic the pictures are however if you visit the link below you can see it. We are reaching out to members of the site as to reactions from this event. However I can tell you this wont be the end of it. This attack is in response to members of Anonymous going after several Syrian government websites in the past.
Will post added info as it comes in…
Reports are coming in the both registrations, as well as ATM’s are down throughout the Rio hotel. While this may not have been any news as computers are always going down, when it did raises some questions. Rio hotel is now hosting DefCon19 in which hackers from across the world all come for the weekend. Reports are that over 15,000 have made the trip to Las Vegas for the weekend making it the largest DefCon ever. With so many hackers in one place – are we even surprised this has happened?
No word yet back from the Rio management when we reached out to them. We are on the ground in Las Vegas, hopefully they’ll comment soon.
Now we are witnessing and hearing reports that more things are down. Here is a list so far.
- Hotel Sound System(was hacked, A/V guys where locked out of fixing it)
- Vending Machines
- Slot Machines
On side note, I refuse to take any elevators while here at the Rio fearing I’ll get stuck in one if/when they get hacked into. I’m guessing that Rio never thought this would be that bad.
A 17 year old member “TeaMp0isoN” went to Twitter tonight after defacing one of the members of LulzSec websites to boast about easy it was to not only hack into the site but also deface it. LulzSec has been in the news lately mainly due in part for them going on Twitter to mention the “hacks” they are doing. However earlier today members of LulzSec and TeaMp0isoN started to go at it on Twitter and that quickly escalated into TeaMp0isoN going right after LulzSec on its home turf.
In a newly released video, Anonymous calls for exposing classified documents from all governments. This is the first time we’ve ever heard of Anonymous joining LulzSec in any “mission”. We can expect something like this to fuel hackers around the world to take up arms. Will government sites be able to handle whats about to come? We know there is a major “operation” that’s going to happen on July 4th, but this constant attack is something new… Make sure to hit the break for the video. Let us know how you feel about this.
We had a feeling this day would come, even though we all hoped it wouldn’t. Gone will be Verizons $29.99 unlimited data and hello tiered. While the email didn’t specify the exact day this would go into effect, fact that it shows July on the top should indicate that if you don’t have unlimited data or thinking about Verizon, do so now before you wont be able to get it any more.
Another key note to take in effect is that in the slides below Verizon makes sure as to explain why “theirs” are better then the competition. Via price, Speed of internet or Locations. All of which are valid points except for the main one… No more “unlimited” data.
I’ve just been sent an anonymous link as to report that “Operation Orlando” as its being called has now started. For what it is about, is the City of Orlando has put into law the people can’t feed the homeless if more than 20 are there. This is in quick reaction to a number of people complaining to be attacked by homeless. However Food not Bomb is a non-profit organization that is set up world wide to help the homeless. As seen in the video below:
We’ve just been sent this copy of what LulzSec has now deem as Operation Anti-Security
Salutations Lulz Lizards,
As we’re aware, the government and whitehat security terrorists across the world continue to dominate and control our Internet ocean. Sitting pretty on cargo bays full of corrupt booty, they think it’s acceptable to condition and enslave all vessels in sight. Our Lulz Lizard battle fleet is now declaring immediate and unremitting war on the freedom-snatching moderators of 2011.
Welcome to Operation Anti-Security (#AntiSec) – we encourage any vessel, large or small, to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path. We fully endorse the flaunting of the word “AntiSec” on any government website defacement or physical graffiti art. We encourage you to spread the word of AntiSec far and wide, for it will be remembered. To increase efforts, we are now teaming up with the Anonymous collective and all affiliated battleships.
Whether you’re sailing with us or against us, whether you hold past grudges or a burning desire to sink our lone ship, we invite you to join the rebellion. Together we can defend ourselves so that our privacy is not overrun by profiteering gluttons. Your hat can be white, gray or black, your skin and race are not important. If you’re aware of the corruption, expose it now, in the name of Anti-Security.
Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments. If they try to censor our progress, we will obliterate the censor with cannonfire anointed with lizard blood.
It’s now or never. Come aboard, we’re expecting you…
History begins today.
What you see here is a call to arms to bring all the worlds hackers together for one massive “attack” for all hackers to come together. While we’ve seen LulzSec do work on its own we’ve never seen something like this from them, nor factions in Anonymous. While we are hearing rumors of an “attack” on 04 July due to Bernake refusing to step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, we never saw this coming. Clearly they are wanting to send a quick and clear message here to not only the US government but those around the world that things need to be changed.
We’ve seen how up risings have happened in the Middle East, could this be our way of rebelling?