Google releases optional security update for Chromebooks, but it wipes all local data

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Chrome OS is one of the most secure desktop operating systems on the market (privacy concerns about the Google ecosystem aside). Automatic system updates, verified boot, and system drive encryption all keep your Chromebook safe from attacks. Most models also use a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, for generating the cryptographic keys that protect local data.

Sadly, nothing is 100% secure, and the same is true for some Chromebooks. Security researchers recently discovered a bug in certain versions of the Infineon TPM firmware, which allows hackers to potentially brute-force a Chromebook to obtain encrypted data.

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Google releases optional security update for Chromebooks, but it wipes all local data was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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iDevices Releases Adhesive Battery-Powered Bluetooth Smart Switch

iDevices has taken the wraps off another addition – this time, a wall switch that makes for easy control of other iDevices kit around the home or, indeed, outside of it.

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PowerUp releases its phone-controlled paper airplane

PowerUp first previewed its smartphone-controlled paper airplane back in 2014, but now it's finally available to everyone. The startup has announced that a retail version of its Dart aircraft will ship in February, and is running a pre-order campaign…
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Microsoft Releases ‘Photos Companion’ iOS App for Quickly Transferring Photos to PC

Microsoft today released Photos Companion, an iOS app specially made for Windows 10 users to let them transfer photos from their Apple devices to PCs more easily. First circulated among beta testers in November, Photos Companion links with Windows 10’s built-in photos app by way of a QR code, after which multiple photos can be sent over the same Wi-Fi network.

Microsoft hopes the app – the result of a Microsoft Garage project – will appeal primarily to students who don’t back up their photos to a cloud service such as the company’s own OneDrive, but need a convenient way to get content from their smartphones to Windows machines in an education setting.

We began developing a simple, experimental app for iOS and Android to see if we could unblock educators and help them begin using the Photos app in their classrooms. We knew that students often captured on multiple phones or tablets, but leveraged a single “project” PC to assemble their media and create their final project. We also knew that Wi-Fi access in the classroom was great between devices, but that any solution that required the cloud for transfer could be blocked by overloaded networks.

Our solution was to build an app that would support direct wireless transfer between any phone or mobile device and the Photos app on any Windows 10 PC. This would enable students to transfer media to their own computers … or to a shared, project PC … without worrying about network speeds or mobile data charges.

The app is part of Microsoft’s wider mobile strategy to improve its iOS offerings, now that Windows 10 Mobile hardware is no longer a focus for the company. Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Phone back in July, and is no longer developing new features or hardware for Windows 10 Mobile.

Photos Companion is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Apple Releases New Video On How To Get the Most from HomePod

Apple has shared a new video on its YouTube support channel that highlights how one can get the most out of their HomePod. The three-minute video shows how one can ask Siri on the HomePod to play music and podcast, use the iPhone as a remote control for the HomePod, use the HomePod as a speakerphone for incoming calls, control HomeKit compatible appliances, and more. Continue reading
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