All posts by Kalpana Sharma

About Kalpana Sharma

She has worked with some of the esteemed publications in India like Times Life- the Sunday supplement of India’s leading daily, Times of India and EFY- BenefIT magazine.

CyanogenMOD Logo

CyanogenMod 11.06 M6 is here, no stable build coming

CyanogenMod has announced the release of CyanogenMod 11.06 M6 and with this, the team has also said that the users should not expect a build labelled ‘stable’. They wrote, “The ‘M’ builds have supplanted our need for such a release. This also means you will not being seeing ‘RC’ builds.”

For all those who are wondering the reason, here is the answer: “Beyond just being a trusted label to assuage the more risk-adverse users, stable build was our marker for accepting reports to our bug tracker. This had a few pain points, but most notably, it meant months of code would be introduced with no particular predictability, which led to gaps between identifying issues from your reports, fixing them and then releasing them in the next stable. With a ‘stable’ and ‘nightly’ only structure, you either waited months for a fix, or updated to a nightly – and with the risk of items such as the ‘master key’ and ‘Heartbleed’ vulnerabilities, this became an unacceptable risk we were posing to you all.

The ‘M’s have now become the fix for that particular issue; you can now reliably know that your next batch of fixes will arrive 4 weeks after the last (and if you are using a nightly, you are not stripped of your ability to update whenever you want). This also allows helps us collect JIRA tickets more frequently and track progression or regression of features in smaller windows. Like the ‘stables’ before it, ‘M’ releases are built off the ‘stable/CM-##.#’ branches – the only difference is now frequency and label. We could have chosen to remove ‘M’ releases and stick with the ‘stable’ tag instead for these monthlies, but the word ‘stable’ itself is a misnomer – it doesn’t mean bug free and it certainly never meant feature complete; but with the name ‘stable’ it gave the false impression that it did mean those things – especially to those risk-adverse that would only hop from ‘stable’ to ‘stable’.”

So the good news is that the team is now looking at releasing updates every two weeks going forward. So here is the changelog:

Quiet Hours – Fix long press QS tile option
Voice+ – Integrate into settings (under Wireless and Networks > ‘More’)
Blacklist – Add provider permissions
Lockscreen – Fix custom wallpaper crashes and album art issues
Display – Consolidate screen-off animation options (remove checkbox)
Bluetooth – Upstream updates and fix issues with audio routing to select car makes/models and disconnect issues
MultiSim – Additional support patches (15+) and UI/UX modifications
Lockscreen – Disable elements when in custom lockscreen
Quick Settings – Options to show smaller tiles; add BT device name to tile
Quick Settings – Fix QS tiles layout in landscape mode
Usage Stats – Fix screen on stats after boot
Resolve memory leaks in Frameworks
Settings – Show ‘eject card’ action for USB storage
Theme Engine – Introduce new Engine capabilities (chooser to arrive in nightlies this week)
Parallel Shutdown – Decrease shutdown time
Address security vulnerability for icons
Downloads – Add pause/resume support
Trebuchet – Hidden apps and labels support
Remove parallel boot dexopt from stable/cm-11.0 branch
And more (all changes from Mar 29th to April 30th)

Those interested can download it from a href=”http://download.cyanogenmod.org/”>CyanogenMod.org

LG G Watch

LG’s G Watch will have always-on screen

LG’s G Watch has been in the news lately but not much was known about the wearable device. Now LG has shared more information about its upcoming G Watch on its new website. According to the official website, the smartwatch will be available in two colors, stealth black and champagne gold. While the release date has not been shared yet, the smartwatch will have an always-on screen. Additionally, it will be both water and dust resistant.

LG’s G Watch is among the list of upcoming smartwatches that will make use of Google’s Android Wear, a version that has been made especially for wearable devices.

Among several features that the Android Wear offers, it has in-built access to Google Maps and also has Google Now, which is Google’s personal assistant service.

The Verge states that its always-on feature might mean that the device is always ready for ‘Ok Google’ commands.

Are you excited to grab one for yourself? Let us know in the comments section…

Source: The Verge

Chrome OS

Microsoft bringing Office Online to Chromebook

The free online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote dubbed Office Online is now coming to the Chrome Web Store. Office Online was previously known as Office Web Apps. It worked on Internet Explorer, Safari as well as Chrome browser but the company is taking it a step further. It will now allow all Chrome users the ability to add Word Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online to their Chrome App launchers. This will help them “create new Office documents online with a single click from your desktop.”

It is being reported that Excel Online will “shortly” be arriving on the Chrome Web Store, according to the official Office Blogs post.

According to the latest blog post, Microsoft is bringing enhancements to Office Online. Coming to the changes, Excel Online will now have the capability to add new comments, plus editing as well as deleting of existing comments. The company has also enhanced support for files with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), thereby letting users open and edit VBA-enabled spreadsheets without the need to remove or break the VBA in the file.

Additionally, Excel Online has the “Tell Me” functionality, which will help users find appropriate commands in a drop-down list form, just like the way it is in Word Online.

Word Online is getting the ability to add comments to the editing mode along with simplified footnotes and endnotes. This will enable users to add them inline, says the blog post.

PowerPoint Online update will make the slide layout look more like what it will finally look like after editing. And it also gets the Tell Me functionality. Lastly, OneNote Online will be getting printing support with the latest bunch of updates.

Source: ZDNet

mobile_theft

Apple, Google, Samsung announce commitment to anti-theft technology

Anti-theft technology can be a boon for cellphone users. Taking this a step ahead, the wireless industry has announced on Tuesday, their voluntary commitment to include new anti-theft technology on phones from next year.

The list flaunts top five US cellular carriers and key smartphone players like Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung. Having signed the pledge, these companies agree that the devices that go on sale after July 2015 will have the capability to remotely wipe data and turn the device inoperable, if it is reactivated without permission.

Devices that are lost or stolen devices can be later restored if found. Carriers have also agreed that they will offer these services.

There are some players who have already put a mechanism in place like Apple’s iOS 7 update has a feature dubbed Activation Lock prevents a device from being reactivated once lost.

While many state and local lawmakers applauded the agreement, it was panned as inadequate by California state Sen, reported Recode.net. Infact, it was Mark Leno who proposed a mandatory kill-switch law. He said in a statement, “The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft. Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today’s ‘opt-in’ proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets.”

Editor’s Note: One concerning issue around this mechanism is that suddenly the government and companies have a kill switch to brick all cell phones. So if there is a revolution like Occupy Wall Street, the government will be able to crush it by bricking all phone of activists or protestors.

Source: Recode.net

CyanogenMOD Logo

CyanogenMod releases new theme engine source code

For those who have been itching to try out the alpha build of CyanogenMod’s iconic Theme Choose, here is some good news. The company announced the public release of the source code to their Gerrit review on 10 April and followed it by merging it on 11 April.

A few weeks ago the alpha build could be tried only by those who had a Galaxy Nexus GSM edition (maguro), a Nexus 4, Nexus 5 or a Motorola Flipout, reported Rootzwiki. Later, on 5 April, they extended support to 2013 versions of Nexus 7, flo and deb.

It is important to note that they have not yet added the engine’s UI. So you will just be using the underlying functionality right now. It will work on any AOSP/CM11-based KitKat ROM.

According to CyanogenMod’s Gerrit review, the new theme engine allows the following:
1. Simple creation of themes by compiling on the device
2. System level icon packs.
3. Font packs
4. Swappable boot animations
5. Lockscreen wallpaper
6. Alarms
7. Of course all the things the previous engine could do including skins, ringtones and notifications. There is also legacy support for old themes.

Users can also run stackable themes, which means you can apply multiple themes at one go, offering you an interesting combination of elements from each theme.

Eager to try?

Source: Rootzwiki

Android apps

Google working on new look for its app icons

Bored of the old Google icons? Don’t be surprised if Google is all set to surprise you with new upgrades to its mobile apps, offering refreshing new look for the icons of its services.

The news was first shared by The Android Police, which talks about a project dubbed Moonshine, bringing updated app icons for Google services.

While it is still not clear whether these icons will be only for the mobile or for Web too, but there are some leaked icons that give away the picture (pun intended).

The changed icons will have a flatter style, which has suddenly become very popular ever since Apple released its iOS 7. The icons are not so different that you won’t be able to recognise them but they are different enough for people to take notice.

Wondering when you will see them on your device? The day is not known yet but the new icons will come out with the redesigned version of Android apps that Google has been working on lately.

Here’s the fun part! Someone has created these rumoured icons and is offering high-quality versions of them for you to use.

Source: Phandroid

President Obama Makes Statement On The Sequestration

Obama allows NSA to exploit security bugs like Heartbleed

Settling the debate among the nation’s intelligence agencies, President Obama has said that the National Security Agency (NSA) should ideally reveal all major flaws it discovers in Internet security, instead of withholding it for the fear of the flaw being used in espionage or cyberattacks. The news was reported by The New York Times and it claims that it was revealed by some senior administration officials.

However, one broad exception for “a clear national security or law enforcement need” that Mr President let in, could lead to NSA exploit security flaws that could not only be used to crack encryption but to also design cyberweapons.

It was never made public what Mr President decided inside the walls of the White House, over the three-month review of recommendations made by a designated presidential advisory committee on the recent disclosures about the operation of NSA.

However, one could gain insights into the decision on Friday when the White House refused that it has any prior knowledge of the Heartbleed bug. It is a newly known hole in Internet security that made Americans change their online passwords last week. The White House said that when flaws of such nature are discovered, it is imperative that the knowledge is shared with computer and software manufacturers so a solution to the same can be developed and distributed.

Caitlin Hayden, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said, “A reinvigorated process is now in place to determine the value of disclosure whenever a security flaw is discovered. This process is biased toward responsibly disclosing such vulnerabilities.”

Source: NYTimes

google-glass

Anyone in the US can purchase Glass for one day

Ever fancied using the much-talked about Google Glass? Well, if you stay in the US, you are in luck. It is being said that Google is in the process of expanding its Glass project in a big way. And the biggest step would be to make it available for anyone in the US.

The Verge has obtained documents that suggest Google may open up its “Explorer Program”, making Glass available to interested customers who want to purchase the wearable computer. This could happen as soon as next week.

The offer will be a limited-time offer, available only for a day. So US citizens who are willing to spend $1,500 on the device can avail the offer. Moreover, Google will be giving a free sunglass shade or its newly-announced prescription glasses frames along with the purchase.

An internal document shows that the promotion may be announced on 15th April. Mind you, this is not a public launch and is just a way to reach out to wider audience with the Glass.

Source: The Verge

NixNote 2

NixNote 2 beta client for Linux now available for download

After five months of releasing the last alpha, NixNote 2 beta has finally arrived and can be downloaded. Nixnote, which was formerly known as Nevernote is an unofficial Evernote client for Linux. It was initially written in Java. However, NixNote 2 has been completely rewritten in C++ using the Qt framework. The main aim was to enhance speed and reduce the memory footprint. While it still uses Java to encrypt / decrypt text in NixNote 2, it’s available as an option. So those who don’t require this feature don’t need to install it.

Evernote is a notetaking and archiving tool. This note could be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook, reads Wikipedia. While Evernote has official clients for Windows, OS X, and mobile platforms but it was not available for Linux.

Among the changes added in the NixNote 2 beta are: It now support reminders; captures images from a webcam, ability to open a note for editing in a new window, allows sending uploads, linked notebook, supports encrypted text (RC2 only), ability to pin or unpin notes and much more. To know more you can visit the Beta 1 downloads page.

How to download NixNote 2

Visit the official page and download NixNote 2. It is available in deb, rpm and tar.gz files format.

Note for Ubuntu users: If you are planning to download the deb files, remember they work only in Ubuntu 13.10 and 14.04. It will not work in Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10. The reason being the required dependencies that are not there in older Ubuntu versions.

Also remember, if you have downloaded and used NixNote 2 before this beta, it is important to first delete the ~/.nixnote folder:

Syncing with Evernote is disabled by default. In order to enable it, you need to go to the NixNote 2 menu > Edit > Preferences and then enable syncing on the Sync tab. Next select Tools > Synchronize. This will initiate synchronizing NixNote 2 with Evernote.

Source: webupd8.org

Twitter

Using Twitter? Your relationship could be at risk, claims study

In a rather surprising study, it is being claimed that those who use Twitter frequently could be putting their romantic relationships in trouble. The study was conducted by Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, who found that “active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter–related conflict with their romantic partners.” These conflicts then lead to negative relationship outcomes like emotional and physical infidelity, breakup and divorce.

The study surveyed 581 Twitter users where Clayton asked them questions about their Twitter use including the number of times they login in to Twitter, tweet, scroll the Twitter newsfeed, send direct messages to others, and send responses to followers. He even asked how often it led to conflict with current or former partners. He found out that a majority of them experienced Twitter-related conflict with their partner.

While the study has surveyed a significant number of Twitter users, there are a few limitations. The researcher promoted the survey through his Twitter account and The Huffington Post’s Twitter account. So only those who follow these two accounts were included in the sample. Since participants knew they were responding to a study about Twitter use and relationship outcomes, it could have impacted the outcome.

Clayton said in a press note, “Although a number of variables can contribute to relationship infidelity and separation, social networking site usage, such as Twitter and Facebook use, can be damaging to relationships. Therefore, users should cut back to moderate, healthy levels of Twitter use if they are experiencing Twitter or Facebook – related conflict. Some couples share joint social networking site accounts to reduce relationship conflict, and there are some social networking site apps, such as the 2Life app, that facilitates interpersonal communication between partners.”

Source: TIME